Vintage Dry Bar turned TV Cabinet: Reveal

Vintage Dry Bar turned TV Cabinet: Reveal

I am so excited to finally be able to write this post! It’s been a journey, for sure, and I’ve definitely learned a lot along the way. What would I do without other blogs to refer to for guidance, trouble-shooting, encouragement… and most of all, to learn that I’m not alone when a project decides to show its challenging colours. Have I mentioned how much I love the blogging world?

This is where it all began, which I wrote about here.

Sitting in the FREE SHOPPING bay at the local waste management drop-off site.

And this is after all the hard work is done, but still needing the new knobs to be put on.

The colour in this shot is truer to how the cabinet actually looks than in the photos below.

This is how the story ends. Once a dry bar cabinet, now repurposed into a TV cabinet.

Sitting renewed and pretty in Kaleigh’s room. The cabinet really is more turquoise than this!

And the tip-up front that gave me so much trouble through the painting process now opens with a spring loaded magnet instead of having to lift the lid to release the original latch. This way Kaleigh can access her PVR when she’s watching TV, and hide it away when she’s not.

Kaleigh opted for just the 2 glass knobs, and didn’t want any knobs or pulls on the tip-up front. That’s why we had to use a spring loaded magnet.

I bet you’re wondering what the big repurposing deal was all about. It looks like just a simple paint job, new knobs and it’s good to go. But there was a whole lot more that went into this project than that…

So for those of you who might be interested, here’s a little breakdown. And if you’d rather skip this part, I just want to say, thank you for reading. Thank you for cheering me on and for encouraging me when I was so discouraged. Now that it’s all finished, I’m so glad we stuck with it – I couldn’t have done this without Kaleigh’s help, or Clemens’ (aka hubby’s 😉 ) either! And the best part is that Kaleigh LOVES her new cabinet 🙂

Prepping, priming, filling, sanding, painting, etc. – Oh yes there was trouble!

  • Original hardware was removed – holes had to be filled where hardware wasn’t going back – that was a lot of filling… and sanding
  • All hardware going back on had to be cleaned – I wrote about that ordeal here and here
  • Cabinet had to be saturated in TSP for a deep cleaning – it had years of built up grime stuck to it – a putty knife and Goo Gone were needed to remove a very stubborn, very stuck adhesive residue here
  • Used KILZ latex multipurpose stain blocker primer – found out later it didn’t work!
  • Applied 2 coats of BM Tropicana Cabana (matte) – all good so far
  • Then a final polyurethane clear gloss coat – NOOOOO! There was tannin bleed-through – I wrote about that setback here 

So the project had to be started over again – back to sanding everything down

  • And trying a different primer for stains – this time I used ZINSSER’S oil based Primer Sealer Stain Killer
    • TIP:  you can paint latex paint over an oil based primer, but not over an oil based paint
  • Round 2 – bought new Tropicana Cabana paint, this time in semi gloss – polyurenthane gloss wasn’t coming near this cabinet again!
    • TIP: semi gloss is a great finish for durability and some shine, but doesn’t show scratches & dents like a gloss
  • Tip-up drawer was not painting out well – I rolled – I brushed – I sanded – I brushed – I sanded some more – I brushed some more – it looked awful
  • Read that the paint might need thinning – bought FLOETROL to thin paint and help it spread
    • TIP: Floetrol really works! It made a HUGE difference in how my paint went on, and how the brush marks really did blend in with drying


  • Had to buy new screws for piano hinge – was hard to find the right size in brass
  • Rest of cabinet went back together like a dream!
  • The tip-up front used to latch closed, and you had to lift the lid to release the latch. With the TV on top this would be a problem. So we removed the latch and replaced it with 2 spring release magnets.
  • We had to drill a hole in the back for the PVR cords to go through – that was definitely the toughest part for us – we really didn’t want to make this hole, but it had to be done.
  • The screws for the replacement knobs were way too long because we opted not to use the mounting plate behind the knob – it took a few tries to find screws that would work
I’m sure there’s more, but this gives you an idea of what went on behind the scenes!
And now I’m working on my Pinterest Fall Challenge. Will you be doing something too?

Related Posts You Might Like To Read

Going for Gold… Inspiration for Kaleigh’s Room

DIY Project: Re-covering Lid of Pine Chest

DIY Project: Pine Chest Revealed

DIY: Sewing Up A Sea of Turquoise

DIY: Turquoise  Throw Pillows Revealed

 It’s about coming home… If you want a remarkable space that tells your story, contact me to see how we can help!

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